Title:
Sheet metal tie
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tie is designed to secure together in a building structure a vertical stud, a top plate disposed horizontally across the top end of the vertical stud and a rafter extending up from the top plate at an acute angle. The tie is constructed from a unitary sheet metal body which is adapted for securement against at least two surfaces of each of the rafter, the top plate and the vertical stud. The unitary sheet metal body for the tie includes a base, a pair of rafter plates which extend orthogonally upward from opposite sides of the base, and a pair of stud tails which extend orthogonally downward from opposite ends of the base. The base together with the pair of rafter plates define a recess that is sized and shaped to fittingly receive a portion of the rafter. In addition, the base together with the pair of stud tails define a channel which is sized and shaped to fittingly receive at least a portion of the top plate and the vertical stud.



Inventors:
Dufault, Eddy S. (Marlborough, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/326072
Publication Date:
07/13/2006
Filing Date:
01/05/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FONSECA, JESSIE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KRIEGSMAN & KRIEGSMAN (SOUTHBOROUGH, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A tie for securing together in a building structure a vertical stud, a top plate disposed horizontally across the top end of the vertical stud and a rafter extending up from the top plate at an acute angle, each of said rafter, top plate and stud comprising at least four surfaces, said tie comprising a unitary sheet metal body which is adapted for securement against at least two surfaces of each of said rafter, said top plate and said stud.

2. The tie as claimed in claim 1 wherein said unitary sheet metal body comprises: (a) a base, (b) a pair of plates which extend upwardly from opposite sides of said base, said base together with said pair of plates defining a recess which is sized and shaped to fittingly receive at least a portion of said rafter, and (c) a pair of tails which extend downwardly from opposite ends of said base, together said base and said pair of tails defining a channel which is sized and shaped to fittingly receive at least a portion of said top plate and at least a portion of said vertical stud.

3. The tie as claimed in claim 2 wherein each of said pair of plates is shaped to define a plurality of fastener mounting holes that are positioned for use in attaching each of said pair of plates to the rafter.

4. The tie as claimed in claim 3 wherein each of the pair of tails is shaped to define a plurality of fastener mounting holes that are positioned for use in attaching each of said pair of tails to said top plate and said vertical stud.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of U.S. provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/643,078, filed Jan. 11, 2005, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the construction of buildings and more particularly to metal ties which are used to connect and structurally reinforce the interconnection of wood framing members in a building structure.

Wood framing members are commonly used in construction to define the structural support for a building. Specifically, as seen most clearly in FIG. 1, the wood framing for a building commonly includes a plurality of vertical studs 11 (each commonly constructed from an elongated wooden beam) which are spaced approximately 16 inches apart from one another in a particular configuration to define the outer periphery of the building. In addition, a top plate 13 (also commonly referred to as a header or support beam) is disposed horizontally across the free top end of each stud 11, the top plate 13 commonly being represented by a pair of stacked 2×4 wooden beams 15. Furthermore, a plurality of spaced apart rafters 17 (also commonly referred to as joists) extend at an acute angle up from the top plate 13, each rafter 17 commonly being represented by a single 2×6 wooden beam.

It should be noted that the various aforementioned framing members are typically secured together using one or more fasteners (e.g., nails, screws, etc.). Specifically, a plurality of fasteners (not shown) are driven through the top plate 13 and each stud 11 and, in turn, a plurality of fasteners (not shown) are driven through the top plate 13 and the rafter tail 19 for each rafter 17. In this manner, fasteners serve to secure and maintain the interrelation of framing members and, as a result, the overall skeletal design of the building.

With the framing members secured together in this manner, large segments of plyboard are typically secured to the framing members to enclose the building structure. Additional materials (e.g., roofing tiles, clapboard, vinyl siding, insulation, etc.) are commonly secured to the exterior of the plyboard to render the building structure more resistant to various types of environmental conditions.

However, it should be noted that natural environmental conditions often exert violent and destructive forces onto a building. In extreme circumstances (e.g, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.), these forces can disconnect the various framing construction members of a building apart from one another which, in turn, can result in significant destruction to the building. For example, significant wind forces which commonly accompany a hurricane can often disconnect the various rafters of a building from its corresponding top plates. In this manner, the extreme wind forces can literally dislodge the roof from of the remainder of the building, which is highly undesirable.

Accordingly, sheet metal ties are commonly used in conjunction with conventional fastening members to secure together two or more wood framing members. As can be appreciated, sheet metal ties serve to strengthen (i.e., reinforce) the interconnection of wood framing members in a building structure and thereby render said building structure more capable of adequately withstanding extreme environmental conditions.

As an example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,714,372 to A. D. Commins (hereinafter the '372 patent), there is disclosed a hurricane tie for connecting wood members in a building structure. The tie has a unitary sheet metal body member which includes a truncated generally right angled triangular base member and a generally right angled triangular web member arranged in reverse apex order with respect to one another. The base and web members lie in planes which are mutually angularly related to one another. The base and web members are formed with fastener openings for connecting the tie to wood members.

The hurricane metal tie described in the '372 patent serves to strengthen the connection between two wood framing members. However, said tie is limited to the connection of only two wood framing members. Stated another way, said tie is incapable of securing together a stud, a top plate and a rafter (which together serve as the foundation of most conventional building structures).

Accordingly, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,295,781 to T. C. Thompson (hereinafter the '781 patent), there is disclosed a one-piece metal connector that securely ties together the structural members of the roof and wall of a wood frame house. The connector has a vertical web on the top that is attached to a rafter and a vertical web on the bottom that is connected to a wall stud. The connector correctly places each structural member for maximum structural integrity, forming a direct load path. The middle part of the connector has a vertical plate and horizontal tabs that form a box-section around the top plate. Horizontal and vertical tabs form open boxes that hold sheathing tight to the wall. Gussets brace the rafter and stud against racking. The connector has a large surface area for maximum strength, and precise nail holes to avoid splitting the structural member. The connector grasps the structural members to avoid detachment of an structural members during hurricanes and seismic events. The connector's webs and bends help to avoid twisting, lateral forces, thrusting, and uplift.

Although the tie described in the '781 patent is designed to secure together a stud, a top plate and a rafter, said tie suffers from a notable shortcoming. Specifically, the tie disclosed in the '781 patent is designed for securement against only a single surface of most of the wood framing members. As a consequence, the relative strength of the connection of said tie with certain wood framing members is less than optimal, which is highly undesirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel sheet metal tie.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a novel sheet metal tie for securing together various wood framing members of a building structure.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a sheet metal tie as described above which secures together in a building structure a vertical stud, a top plate disposed horizontally across the top end of the vertical stud and a rafter extending up from the top plate at an acute angle.

It is yet still another object of the present invention to provide a sheet metal tie as described above which includes a limited number of parts, which is easy to use and which is inexpensive to manufacture.

Accordingly, there is provided a tie for securing together in a building structure a vertical stud, a top plate disposed horizontally across the top end of the vertical stud and a rafter extending up from the top plate at an acute angle, each of said rafter, top plate and stud comprising at least four surfaces, said tie comprising a unitary sheet metal body which is adapted for securement against at least two surfaces of each of said rafter, said top plate and said stud.

Various other features and advantages will appear from the description to follow. In the description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part thereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration, an embodiment for practicing the invention. The embodiment will be described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. The following detailed description is therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is best defined by the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings wherein like reference numerals represent like parts:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a prior art wood framing structure for a building, the wood framing structure comprising a rafter, a pair of top plates and a pair of vertical studs;

FIG. 2 is a front, right side perspective view of a sheet metal tie constructed according to the teachings of the present invention, said sheet metal tie being shown securing together a rafter, a top plate and a vertical stud in the wood framing structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a blank which can be shaped to form the sheet metal tie shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, front, right side perspective view of the sheet metal tie shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged, rear, left side perspective view of the sheet metal tie shown in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 is a front, right side view of the sheet metal tie shown in FIG. 2, the sheet metal tie being shown securing together a top plate and a vertical stud, the top plate and vertical stud being shown in fragmentary form.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a tie which is constructed according to the teachings of the present invention, the tie being identified generally by reference numeral 31. As will be described further in detail below, tie 31 is designed to help secure together a vertically disposed, elongated wooden stud 11, a horizontal top plate 13 (represented herein as being in the form of a pair of stacked 2×4 wooden beams 15) and a rafter 17 (represented herein as being in the form of a single 2×6 wooden beam). Together, stud 11, top plate 13 and rafter 17 partially define the support structure, or framing, for a building.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a flat pattern layout, or blank, of tie 31 prior to bending, tie 31 preferably being constructed from a rigid, durable and strong piece of sheet metal, such as an 18 gauge galvanized steel or an 18 gauge 316 stainless steel.

Tie 31 comprises a rectangularly-shaped base 33 which serves as the main plate for tie 31.

Tie 11 also comprises a pair of rafter plates 35-1 and 35-2 which are connected to opposite sides of base 33 through fold lines 37-1 and 37-2, respectively. Each plate 35 has an enlarged trapezoidal configuration and is shaped to define a plurality of circular holes 39 through which the stem of a conventional fastening device may be disposed, each hole being preferably 0.18 inches in diameter. As seen most clearly in FIGS. 4 and 5, rafter plates 35-1 and 35-2 are folded about fold lines 37-1 and 37-2, respectively, until plates 35-1 and 35-2 extend vertically upward from base 33 at an approximate right angle relative thereto. Shaped in this manner, base 33, plate 35-1 and plate 35-2 together define a recess 40. As will be described further below, recess 40 is sized and shaped to fittingly receive at least a portion of rafter 17.

Tie 31 additionally comprises a pair of stud tails 41-1 and 41-2 which are connected to opposite ends of base 33 through fold lines 43-1 and 43-2, respectively. Each tail 41 has an elongated rectangular configuration and is shaped to define a plurality of circular holes 39 through which the stem of a conventional fastening device may be disposed. As seen most clearly in FIGS. 4 and 5, tails 41-1 and 41-2 are folded about lines 43-1 and 43-2, respectively, until tails 41-1 and 41-2 extend vertically downward from base 33 at an approximate right angle relative thereto. Shaped in this manner, base 33, tail 41-1 and tail 41-2 together define a channel 45. As will be described further below, channel 45 is sized and shaped to fittingly receive at least a portion of top plate 13 and at least a portion of stud 11.

Tie 31 can be used to secure together a stud 11, a top plate 13 and a rafter 17 in the following manner. During the initial framing process of a building, a plurality of vertical studs 11 are spaced apart from one another and a horizontal top plate 13 is secured across the free top end of each vertical stud 11. With top plate 13 secured to studs 11, a tie 31 is mounted on the framing over each stud 11 and its corresponding top plate 13.

Specifically, as seen most clearly in FIG. 6, a tie 31 is mounted on top plate 13 such that top plate 13 and stud 11 are fittingly received (i.e., nest snugly) within channel 45. Mounted as such, tie 31 (in particular, base 33 and stud tails 41-1 and 41-2) is disposed flush in contact against three surfaces of top plate 13 and tie 31 (in particular, stud tails 41-1 and 41-2) is disposed flush in contact against two surfaces of stud 11. Fastening elements (e.g., screws, nails) are then driven through holes 39 in tails 41-1 and 41-2 (with the head of each element sized greater in diameter than each opening 39) so as to fixedly secure tie 31 to top plate 13 and stud 11.

Referring back to FIG. 1, rafter 17 is then manipulated such that rafter tail 19 fittingly protrudes (i.e., nests snugly) within in recess 40 of tie 31. Configured as such, tie 31 (in particular, base 33 and rafter plates 35-1 and 35-2) is disposed flush in contact against three surfaces of rafter 17. Fastening elements (e.g., screws, nails) are then driven through holes 39 in rafter plates 35-1 and 35-2 (with the head of each element sized greater in diameter than each opening 39) so as to fixedly secure tie 31 to rafter 17.

In this manner, it is to be understood that tie 31 serves to secure together stud 11, top plate 13 and rafter 17. The fact that tie 31 is secured against at least two surfaces of the rafter, top plate and stud means that the strength of the connection that tie 31 affords between all three wood framing members is maximized, which is highly desirable.

The embodiment shown of the present invention is intended to be merely exemplary and those skilled in the art shall be able to make numerous variations and modifications to them without departing from the spirit of the present invention. As an example, the particular size and/or shape of base 33, rafter plates 35-1 and 35-2 and/or stud tails 41-1 and 41-2 could be modified without departing from the spirit of the present invention. As another example, the size, number and/or location of holes 39 in tie 31 could be modified without departing from the spirit of the present invention. All such variations and modifications are intended to be within the scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.